Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sports documentary double bill



Currently, the McLaren Formula One is at the foot of the Championship table with engine problems being the woes that fall upon the team and drivers. So, with the McLaren team is such a dire position it seems ideal to go back to a time when the iconic McLaren name was in the ascendency. Directed by Roger Donaldson, McLaren follows Kiwi racing car driver and designer Bruce McLaren from growing up in his small town in New Zealand to designing World Championship winning racing cars.

Bruce McLaren is painted as a determined, hardworking and talented figure in the world of motorsport, finding success in many different formulas and racing categories. The time he devoted to the sport was so great it must have impacted his family life though the movie does not investigate this. Whilst, a look into the man’s family life may have opened him up on an emotional level (thereby adding more depth to the film) the areas that film does investigate is very interesting even if some understanding of engineering may be required.

Due to the limited resources available (the sport was still in its infancy in the 60s) director Roger Donaldson combines reconstructive footage with archival footage and interviews, this works reasonably well but the reconstructive footage does feel like it served more as padding than anything greatly informative. What’s also interesting to note is how the drivers and mechanics shrugged off the death of fellow racing drivers. This inaction and belief that death was part of the sport contributed significantly to the high number of fatalities in the era. Sadly, however, the film doesn’t go into great depth regarding the effect the high death toll had on Bruce McLaren.

The climax of the documentary is undoubtedly high emotional, but thrills and quality of material available means McLaren isn’t on a par with Senna.

3/5

George Best was football’s first celebrity, many dubbed him the Fifth Beetle for his supreme good look and massive female fanbase. Not only was he supremely good looking but he was an incredible football player, one of the best of his generation, a generation that included the likes of Pele and Eusebio. The documentary, simply titled Best, speaks admirably about the talents of George Best, but it’s not a documentary that spends the entire timewaxing lyrically about how the ball was glued to his feet. Instead it’s a very honest and very moving documentary about a sportsman who threw away his talent because of deadly addiction to alcohol. What’s striking is the friends of George Best not only blame the man himself, but themselves, they feel they did not do enough to turn him away from drink.

Comparisons to the Bobby Moore, whose life was also discussed in a documentary could easily be made, and both are refreshingly honest, yet respectful documentaries. George Best is an endlessly fascinating subject, a great talent ruined by drink and a celebrity lifestyle and the film serves as a warning to celebrity culture and the hounding by press and fans. Making use of archival footage and talking heads, the Best documentary lives up to its name becoming one the finest documentaries on the sport. People can chuckle how George Best may have spent his money on booze, birds, fast cars and squandered the rest but it was a lifestyle never made him happy. A sad documentary about a wasted talent.

4/5
 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Southern Fury



Southern Fury tells the intertwining stories of the Lindel brothers, Mikey (Johnathon Schaech) and JP (Adrian Grenier), who had only each other to rely on growing up. As adults, JP found success as the owner of a construction company, while Mikey became a small-time mobster, mired in a life of petty crime. When Mikey is kidnapped and held for a ransom by ruthless crime boss Eddie King (Nicolas Cage), JP turns to the brothers' old pal Sal (John Cusack), a plain clothes detective for help – IMDB.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Mummy


 
In present day London, a Crossrail construction team discover a thousand-year-old tomb which holds the graves of the crusader knights who captured a large ruby from ancient Egypt, this ruby is an important part of an ancient ritual. Meanwhile, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) his mate, Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), and Jenny (Annabelle Wallis) uncover the ancient tomb of Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) and unleash an unparalleled evil upon man kind.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Thursday Movie Picks


Welcome to Thursday Movie picks, hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, this weeks’ theme is all about movies that go well together.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Wonder Woman is Not Blunder Woman


The island of Themyscira is situated somewhere on Earth (not sure where) and it is protected from the horror of the World of Men by a bubble. This island is populated by an Amazonian tribe which consist entirely of women. They have lived peacefully for thousands of years until an American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island, and he is followed closely by a German contingent. A battle ensues and the Amazon tribe are then forced to face the outside world and the war raging in it. Upon hearing of the war to end all wars, Diana (Gal Gadot) fears that the god Ares has risen again, and leaves the island of Themyscira seeking to destroy him.

The Other Side of Hope

Khaled (Sherwan Haji) emerges from the soot ready to start a new life in Finland after escaping Syria and the brutal Civil War. Upon arrival he announces himself at the Migrant Detention centre so that his application for asylum to Finland is processed. The application is rejected, however, and whilst living on the streets he meets Finnish restaurant owner Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) who befriends him.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Rings


In today’s modern era nobody really has anything as archaic as a VHS player so Samara’s been less busy than usual. That is until Gabriel Brown (Johnny Galecki) buys one of those VHS player things and watches the type inside. The type is cursed and Gabriel gets a phone call saying that he’ll die in seven days. Meanwhile, Julia (Matilda Lutz) is seeing her boyfriend off to college but within a few weeks he becomes estranged, and a desperate skype call from a mysterious girl alerts Julia that something is wrong. So she packs her bags and goes to see him and finds herself caught up in a deadly curse but for her things are little different than usual.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales/Salazar's Revenge




Back in 2003 people wondered how good can a movie about a theme park attraction be? The answer was pretty good as Gore Verbinski set sail on what would be major lucrative franchise which would yield great booty for Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney. Verbinski was the helmsman for the first three movies and despite him disembarking the franchise in 2007, the franchise did not sink at the box office. The choppy seas of directors was not an issue either as the fifth film retains much of what made the original films quite appealing to an audience as whole.

Colossal



Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an alcoholic, and out of a job. After her constant drinking and lying, her boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens) kicks her out of the house leaving Gloria with no choice but to return to her home town. There she finds her parent’s bare and uninhabited house and by chance happens to bump into an old school friend named Oscar (Jason Sudekis). Meanwhile in Korea, there’s a giant monster rampaging through Seoul and it quickly dawns on Gloria that the two are connected.